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Pitching In Southern League

Division 1 South


Cirencester Town  3 - 2  Bristol Manor Farm


Click photo to view a slideshow of photos from the match

Match photos supplied by Graham Hill

Match report by Dave Pyzer


The opening league fixture of the new season brought The Portwaymen of Bristol Manor Farm to The Corinium Stadium and what an enthralling match it produced as Cirencester pressed for the majority of the first half, conceded an early goal in the second, scored three in the final quarter before a second for the visitors produced a tense finish.


The long wait for competitive football for Managers, Coaches, players and spectators was finally over and for the home support it was an opportunity to see three of their new signings perform in a league match as Elliott Keightley, Jake Lee and Nick Peare were in the starting eleven.


Cirencester kicked-off playing towards the Arena end of the ground and immediately attacked down their left flank but in their eagerness conceded a free kick to lose the initiative.

Almost immediately the visitors created an opening as Michael Bryant latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the home box to shoot towards the right post - forcing custodian Alex Harris to push it wide for a corner kick.

The response from Cirencester soon followed as Josh Parsons cut in from the left flank to fire a firm shot towards the far post that ‘keeper Harry Thomas-Barker parried to be cleared.

Back came the home side as the ball was worked from left to right for Tommy Anderson to cross to the far-left post where a fast-arriving Joe Shepherd headed over.

With less than ten minutes on the clock Cirencester worked the ball from right to left leading to a fierce strike from Aidan Bennett striking a visiting player in the penalty area and a shout for ‘handball’ that was ignored by the Referee.

At this stage Cirencester were beginning to force the pace with the agile Parsons and Anderson causing the visitors a few problems and a darting run from the latter ended when he was knocked to the ground on the edge of the penalty area and whilst a free kick was awarded it was outside the box and Nick Peare’s header of the kick was just over the top left corner of the goal.

As the home side pressed The Farm looked dangerous on the counter as a ‘lobbed ’effort from Owen Howe that passed wide of the right post demonstrated.

This remained the pattern of the first half as Cirencester dominated possession and The Farm countered and in the final few minutes both Parsons and Shepherd came close but it was all square going to the break.   

Half Time:   0-0

The second half started very promisingly for the home side as Bennett performed a neat ‘back-heel’ on the edge of the visitor’s box to release Parsons into the left channel and as he drew level with the penalty spot he shot narrowly wide of the right post.

The busy Bennett then produced a couple of dangerous crosses into the penalty area from the left corner but the alert Thomas-Barker safely gathered them as Anderson closed in to collect.

Eight minutes into the half the visitors mounted an attack that took them to the home penalty area and the initial strike from Bryant was parried by Harris into the path of a lurking OWEN HOWE who gratefully smashed it into the roof of the net from a few yards.  0-1.

Cirencester reacted positively to this setback as Parsons fired over the top right corner and had another effort deflected for a corner kick but the visitors came closer to scoring when Ben Bament intercepted a pass to burst through and strike the top right corner of the woodwork.  

Once again the home side pressed forward and a neat flowing move down the pitch resulted in the equaliser they were searching for as Ellis Dunton played the ball down the centre to Parsons who sent it wide to Anderson and he galloped down the right flank to cross into the 6-yard box to provide a ‘tap-in’ for the newly arrived ROSS GABRIEL1-1.  

Seven minutes later Cirencester cleared the ball to Anderson who again made ground down the right flank before delivering the ball into the box for JOSH PARSONS to collect and finish inside the right post, past an unsighted Thomas-Barker.  2-1.  

A further five minutes later Cirencester doubled their lead as Joe Turley sent a 25-yard pass down the centre for AIDAN BENNETT to gather and neatly ‘chip’ the advancing ‘keeper.  3-1.

The Farm responded well to this further setback as Bament sent a fierce shot at goal that Harris blocked and almost immediately they worked the ball into the home box and as Kyle Tooze collected it, near the left by-line, the Assistant Referee raised his flag indicating ‘offside’ and play continued with the ball reaching OWEN HOWE who produced a clever ‘heel-flick’ from close range to finish.  Protests from the home side led to a discussion between the Referee and his Assistant but the goal stood.  3-2.   

A few minutes later as The Farm searched for an equaliser Jamie Bird crashed a 25-yard effort against the home bar and an impressive Jake Lee was called upon to make a superbly timed tackle in his own box to stop another attack.

During the final minutes Cirencester showed their resolve as they defended resolutely to secure victory.

Full Time:   3-2

A promising start to the season with a determined performance against strong opponents who severely tested the mettle of the home side in a tense and sometimes tetchy encounter.


Attendance:     136                                                       Referee:   Adam McAnoy


Cirencester Town:

 1.        Alex Harris
 2.        Shayne Anson
 3.        Elliott Keightley
 4.        Nick Peare
 5.        Jake Lee     ©
 6.        Ellis Dunton
 7.        Tommy Anderson
 8.        Joe Turley
 9.        Aidan Bennett                                      80
10.        Josh Parsons                                      75
11.        Joe Shepherd

12.        Josh Nelmes
14.        Ross Gabriel                                         (Nick Peare-67mins) 68
15.        Nick Hancock
16.        Mike Pook                                             (Josh Parsons-90+4mins)
17.        James Mortimer-Jones


Bristol Manor Farm:

 1.        Harry Thomas-Barker
 2.        Mason Winter
 3.        Aron Robbins     ©
 4.        Josh Ford
 5.        Sam Boulton
 6.        Theo Llewellyn
 7.        Ben Bament
 8.        Jayden Nielsen
 9.        Owen Howe                                          53, 84
10.        Michael Bryant
11.        Jamie Short

12.        Kyle Tooze                                           (Jayden Nielsen-76mins)
14.        Stuart Tovey
15.        Jamie Bird                                           (Jamie Short-76mins)
16.        Lloyd Mills
17.        Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist                            (Sam Boulton-83mins)

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